The Difference Between SAP HANA and SAP HANA 2.0

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Just when SAP users everywhere had got their heads around the benefits of migrating to SAP HANA, there’s a new version to consider. SAP HANA 2.0 builds on some of the original’s features, including enhancements to data management and advanced analytical processing, as well as to its application development and tools.

All promising, but what most of our clients really want to know is how it differs from HANA 1.0, and whether they should or shouldn’t upgrade. So, we’ve put together a guide of sorts to answer those two fundamental questions.

What’s Changed?

SAP HANA 2.0 has a multitude of new features and improvements to existing tools. For the sake of clarity, they’re probably best divided into 4 categories: advanced analytical processing, database enhancements, data management enhancements and tool enhancements.

Advanced Analytical Processing Enhancements


There are some important changes to the search functions in SAP HANA 2.0. For instance, you can now call up multiple records in a single call by using the new ‘batch mode’ for search rules, as well as find information faster with enhanced filtering. What’s more, the issue of locating duplicates is largely resolved with the improved configuration of search rules.

Text Analytics

Text analytics has also undergone an upgrade, you can now manage your own domain-specific custom dictionaries and rules within the Web IDE for SAP HANA. You can also embed natural-language processing into user products with the addition of a new native SQL interface. Finally, existing applications that utilize text analysis can be better leveraged to all languages through the use of spaces between words.

Graph Data Processing

For graph data processing, SAP HANA now supports Cypher – allowing for the use of existing Cypher query language skills and better pattern matching. 

Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning

The new version has two major benefits for predictive analytics, now you can: 

  • Deploy improved predictive applications that utilize more pre-packaged algorithms
  • Run-scoring functions faster, thanks to parallel processing for large-scale and partitioned data

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Database and Data Management Enhancements

Perhaps the area that’s seen the most sweeping change is the systems database and data management. For the sake of brevity we won’t go into each one, but here’s a rudimentary list of what’s changed. 

Disaster Back-up and Recovery

  • Automated HA/DR processes with improved SAP Landscape Management integration
  • Optimized workload for third-party back-up tools with the consolidation of SAP HANA log backups


  • Simplification of security alert monitoring and configuration of security and users
  • Protection of data at rest through SAP HANA’s improved encryption


  • Minimizes cost and time when executing change by comparing, capturing, and analyzing multiple workload replays
  • Enhanced workload management for system thresholds and prevention of ‘runaway queries’ 

SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer 

  • This new tool augments existing SAP HANA modelling tools, allowing for better planning of enterprise architecture and business process modelling

Multi-tier Storage

  • Integrated management of dynamic tiering with support for encrypted extended store, delta back-ups and system replication
  • Simplification of management for large volumes of data with multi-store tables

Data Integration

  • Broader access to data sources with added support for Microsoft Access and SharePoint

Data Quality and Data Federation

  • Enhanced accuracy of location-based data through dramatically improved address cleansing capabilities
  • High availability and disaster recovery/ back-up and recovery

Application Development and Tools Enhancements

Last but by no means least, there are a few important changes to HANA’s application development, tools, languages and APIs. 

Application Server

  • Minimize TCO with Bring Your Own Language and Runtimes by running these applications within the XS advanced framework
  • Construct native applications in multi-tenant or MDC landscapes without constraints
  • Minimize effort of supporting JAVA-based applications with enhanced JAVA/JavaScript run-time support and trace features

Tools, Languages, and APIs

  • Test and develop MDX-based queries and statements against SAP HANA views
  • Speed up application development with improved modelling for data types (such as spatial, text, and graph), calculation views, and core data services
  • Boost productivity with enhanced syntax error troubleshooting and extended impact and lineage analysis

Should You Upgrade?

Now we’ve gone through the enhancements on offer, the next obvious question is should you upgrade? While SAP has obviously upped the game with some of HANA 2.0’s functionality, whether you should upgrade and, indeed, whether you can, depends on a few variables.

When You Should Upgrade

It goes without saying that if you want to use any of the features above you need to upgrade, but there are any number of reasons why HANA 2.0 could be a smart investment. For example, if you’re looking to install licence keys for individual tenant databases or you want to restore a single database backup directly into a tenant database, you’ll need the new features to do so. Other situations where HANA 2.0 is mandatory include the use of redo log encryption and data shipping parallelization within HSR.

In some instances, the choice will be made for you. To do any of the following you’ll need to be running the latest version of SAP HANA:

  • You plan to use S/4 HANA 1709
  • You want to use HSR active/active
  • You plan to use PowerPC SLES12 LE
  • You want to use special functions in SDA / SDI / SDQ
  • You want to migrate from INTEL to PowerPC or vice versa
  • You want use Cross-SID-copy
  • You want to use HANA Cockpit 2.0

When You Shouldn’t 

There are also a few circumstances where upgrading to SAP HANA 2.0 isn’t advisable or just plain won’t work. Starting with an obvious one, if there are no features unique to the new edition you need, then there’s no reason to upgrade just yet. 

It also goes without saying that if you’re running legacy hardware such as Haswell and older processors this version of HANA won’t work, but it also applies to older SAP capabilities like XS Classic (HANA 2.0 uses XS Advanced). Likewise, if you want to avoid using Multitenant Database Containers (MDCs) steer clear of HANA 2.0 as , from this edition onwards, MDCs will be the standard and only operational mode for SAP HANA systems. 

Finally, if you’re using SLES11 SP4 BE with PowerPC and don’t want to migrate or you’re affected by the limitation using cross tenant access then the new HANA is not for you. 

Whether you choose to upgrade to SAP HANA 2.0 or go with the original version, the first step in migrating from your legacy system is ensuring your ABAP code is HANA-ready.  At Gekkobrain, we specialize in tools that help you get HANA-ready; what’s more, for those who are undecided or not ready to migrate, we offer our code performance analyzer free of charge. To get started on improving your SAP performance and taking the first step to being HANA-ready, book a demo today.

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